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2nd illegal kitchen

Discussion in 'Urgent - Help Needed' started by Pete Humphrey, Nov 30, 2009.

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  1. Pete Humphrey

    Pete Humphrey Junior Member

    0
    Jan 18, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    I'm getting a headache over this! I did an appraisal of a tract home that had a permitted addition of a bed and bath. However, when I got there and proceeded with the inspection, I found that the owner had gone further with her improvements (after the permits were issued of course) by closing off the family room and adding a kitchen to it. Basically it's like a little apartment with the newly permitted bed/bath and the original family room & unpermitted kitchen.

    After checking online and double-checking with a real human at the city, I confirmed that this is illegal zoning since this area is zoned for single family. So now I'm perplexed. Do I do the appraisal as-is and figure out some cost to cure (which I hate because I am not a contractor) or do I do it "subject to" alterations with a hypothetical condition. Is one way better than the other? This is the one time when I'm happy for the HVCC. I can just imagine the phone call I'd get from the loan officer on this one back in the old days (can't you just overlook the second kitchen?)

    What would you do?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  2. CANative

    CANative Elite Member

    121
    Jun 18, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    I determined that this is illegal zoning

    It may be an illegal use given the zoning but zoning itself is not illegal.


    That's not necessarily a cause for determining that the use is illegal. In California most municipalities must consider state law which states that a municipality cannot refuse to grant a variance which would allow a second unit anywhere a single family use is allowed.

    You need to do some more research and ask the right people the right questions.
     
  3. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Elite Member

    58
    Sep 28, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New York
  4. Pete Humphrey

    Pete Humphrey Junior Member

    0
    Jan 18, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    San Diego Municipal Code, Chapter 11, Article 3, Division 1, Page 7: Definitions, "Dwelling unit, means a room or suite of rooms in a building or portion thereof, used, intended or designed to be used or occupied for living purposes by one family, and containing only one kitchen."

    Based on this and the fact that the zoning is RS-1 Single Family, the zoning specialist told me the second unit would be considered illegal use in the City of San Diego. In my opinion it ruins the house completely. They walled off the original kitchen which was open to the original family room and it looks awful. The two kitchens are basically right next to each other. Unless a potential buyer is looking for a granny flat I can't see who would want to buy this mess. My comps are all much higher than I think this place is worth. Major functional obsolescence and loss of functional utility.

    You suggest I do more research and ask the right people the right questions. Can you point me in the right direction?

    The client is a direct lender and the intended use is for a refinance of the current conventional mortgage.
     
  5. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Elite Member

    58
    Sep 28, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New York
    See Section 141.0302 on Companion Units in the City of San Diego, CA Municipal Code

    Ordinance: •Accessory Dwellings (ADs) were mandated by the state as an affordable housing program approximately 15 years ago​

    •San Diego has six different types of Accessory Dwellings (ADs), each designed to meet a different need:​
    1. Accessory Apartments are for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, or immediate family members and can be rented

    2. Accessory Living Quarters are rent free units for household employees only​

    3. Second Dwelling Units are ADs which can be rented to any persons
    4. Guest Living Quarters have no kitchens, are not rentable, and are for temporary use only
    5. Health Care Dwellings are temporary units for providers or family members who are care givers
    6. Farm Employee Units

    • The types are convertible into another type with an application and a building inspection
    • Only one Second Dwelling Unit per lot
    • Second Dwelling Units can be 30% of the main unit up to 1,200 square feet• No entrances are allowed on any side of the house with an abutting street

    http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/CPHD/Documents/file63816.pdf


    §141.0302 Companion Units
    A companion unit is a dwelling unit that is an accessory use for a single dwelling unit on a residential lot that provides complete living facilities, including a kitchen, independent of the primary dwelling unit.



    Companion units are permitted as a limited use in accordance with Process One in the zones indicated with an “L” in the Use
    Regulations Tables in Chapter 13, Article 1 (Base Zones) and Chapter 15, Article 1, Division 4 (General and Supplemental Regulations), subject to the regulations in Section 141.0302. Within the Coastal Overlay Zone, companion units are subject to the provisions of Chapter 12, Article 6, Division 7.




    (b) Within single family residential zones, a companion unit is allowed where the existing lot area is equal to or greater than two times the minimum lot area required for the zone

    (c) For ​
    premises within a multi-family zone, one companion unit is permitted on
    property that would otherwise allow only one
    single dwelling unit based on
    the size of the
    premises, provided there is an existing single dwelling unit. If
    the
    premises are modified by area or zone to permit additional dwelling units,

    the companion unit shall then be considered an additional ​
    dwelling unit and
    shall not be restricted by the applicable companion unit regulations.
    (d) A primary
    dwelling unit must exist on the premises. Concurrent construction
    of the primary
    dwelling unit and companion unit is not allowed.
    (e) No more than one companion unit is permitted on a
    premises.
    (f) A companion unit may be attached to or detached from the primary
    dwelling

    unit
    on the premises.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  6. Abester

    Abester Senior Member

    0
    Jun 12, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    I still don't like goverments telling people how many kitchens they can have. An illegal 2nd unit is an illegal 2nd unit, but a kitchen doesn't necessarily make a 2nd unit. I know folks who still have summer kitchens. I know others that have canning kitchens in the basement. It's their house, and they should darn well be able to do what they like.
     
  7. Terrel L. Shields

    Terrel L. Shields Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    226
    May 2, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Arkansas
    I prefer to think of it as non-conforming....Perhaps they put Kitchens in prison in California...after all, it is California.
     
  8. TC

    TC Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    14
    Jan 31, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Is the owner Italian, 2nd kitchen is normal for them in my area. How about Kosher?

    That's all I got.
     
  9. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Elite Member

    58
    Sep 28, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New York

    two separate issues;

    a. original permit for bedroom & bath most likely voided by the additional family room segregation

    b. addition of a "kitchen" to the family room creating either a "companion" or "accessory unit" (see code) poses the second problem to be addressed.

    Approach: a. subject to municipal C.of O. for bedroom & bath, restoring interior family room access to core of residence, and removal of second "kitchen-ette" range restoring municipal building & zoning compliance. << most probable approach based on OP.

    Approach: b. IF the local market indicates buyer demand for "companion" units (see code) and can be demonstrated via closed sale comparables with similar use - "subject to obtaining C.of O. for Accessory/Companion Unit."
     
  10. Webbed Feet

    Webbed Feet Elite Member

    19
    Feb 11, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    I'd follow the SOW Rule and contact my client. The first thing I would propose to my client would be that, for a fee, I type up an "Inspection Findings" report with interior photos, describing what I found and what the J.A. has to say about second kitchens added in that zoning without permits. In the past, this strategy would typically result in my getting a fee for the inspection and report, then the appraisal services canceled. For me that was always perfect.

    Baring the above, I would then recommend I appraise the property "Subject To" the property owner providing evidence of proper permits and final inspections by the J.A. with a certificate of occupancy that included the second kitchen. Using a EA that the owner can provide all of the same to the client. I then appraise the entire improvement as legal as based on the EA the owner can provide all the stuff.

    Baring both above, I then inform the client if they want an "As-Is" that it just became a complex real estate appraisal requiring extensive research, much larger fee, and considerably extended turn time. Payment in advance, of course. Plus they better wake up to the fact that the hazard insurance may now be invalidated.

    By the time I am done with the above, I rarely have any problems left I can't handle.. ;)
     
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